Monthly Archive: October 2012

Beaten down….and loving it

My life since July 1 (the stress): Still trying to find time to read, drinking from a fire hose, late nights, early mornings, add on cases late at night, busy call, lectures all the time, research deadlines, poster printing, knowing nothing, different expectations for each attending, trying to find time to study, googling in patient exam rooms because I have never heard of their disease before, falling asleep at the microscope in the OR, trying to get home before my kids go to sleep every single day, failing to get home before my kids go to sleep many days, working my tail off to find time to get one post a month done on shortwhitecoats!

My life since July 1 (the amazing): Waking up chomping at the bit to get to work and learn more, the most incredible surgeries in the world, patients who can’t stop talking about how much you’ve changed their lives, blind to 20/20 in days, seeing the retina….all of it, working with incredible faculty who change the way I will think…forever, grand rounds that blow me away, watching individual RBCs moving through vessels at the microscope, an unexpected and awkward hug from a patient, stopping dead in my tracks once a week and thinking ‘this is so freaking cool!”, going in at 6am leaving at 9pm and not wanting to trade it for anything else.

Student doctors, take advantage of the time you have to make movies like this one. But with each hour of disappearing free time, your career will become that much more incredible.

FREIDA: A Great Resource when Applying to Residency

Applying to residency is equally exciting as it is stressful. I found myself searching for any information I could find about different programs and what made each program different.  During my hours of searching I found that the AMA’s site, FREIDA ONLINE, was one of the most useful resources.FREIDA is an online database of all ACGME regulated residency and fellowship training programs.  The FREIDA database is searchable by specialty or by state.  The amount of information available for each program is truly staggering, here is just a short list of some of the information you can find out about each training program:


  • Program director name and contact information
  • Length of the program
  • Institution and hospital affiliations
  • Size of the residency
  • Number of applicants interviewed
  • Number of faculty
  • Average work hours
  • Weeks of call per year
  • Amount of didactic lecture
  • Salary information
  • Vacation weeks
  • Benefits information

Now that I know the inner workings of my residency, I looked back at the FREIDA profile to see if the information is correct, and I can vouch for the database, it is spot on.  They provide an analysis of the averages of many of those statistics for each specialty. So, you can compare the ‘hours worked in a week’ of a program you are interested in with the national average. Click here to access the ‘training statistics’.